Northern Ireland

Bid to win protected status for Irish salmon

salmon
Image caption Irish salmon could seen join an elite club

The Irish salmon could soon join an elite club that features Lough Neagh eels, the Armagh Bramley apple and the Comber spud.

An application is under way to win protected geographical indication (PGI) status under European law.

It is the first all-Ireland application for protected status.

The granting of PGI status would mean Irish salmon joins high-quality European products, including Parma ham, Champagne wine and Stilton cheese.

PGI legislation came into force in 1993 and provides for a system for the protection of food names on a geographical or traditional recipe basis.

The scheme highlights regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed.

Under this system a named food or drink registered at a European level will be given legal protection against imitation throughout the EU.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill said: ""A product, such as the Irish salmon, receiving PGI registration would be good news for the agri food sector and would help local suppliers to market the product domestically and further afield, and would also provide protection against imitation."

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